An interview with owner and artist Marsha Robinson of Mars Creations in Palm Springs.
BY ROXIE PERKINS
Tell us about yourself.
My name’s Marsha Robinson, I own Mars Creations and I’m an artist and a political activist. I ended up in Palm Springs 20 years ago and started Mars Creations—and I believe I’m the only lesbian business owner in downtown Palm Springs!
What is Mars Creations?
Mars Creations is a politically active, gemstone shop that features artisan jewelry, local artwork, and roadside geology with some local digs. I hand make 80% of our products and mine a lot of the stones myself. I’ve been digging stones out of the ground for 30 years. We also make custom pieces, and welcome people bringing in their own rocks for me to wire wrap.
What is Mars Creations’ goal?
I’m trying to create a vortex in downtown Palm Springs. Entering the store is like walking into a hoarder’s den that has OCD—in a beautiful way! I feel like owning and operating Mars Creations is a force of good in the community because crystals and gemstones make people feel like they’re getting positive energy and therefore they manifest that energy in their own lives.
How do you interact with the queer/activist community in Palm Springs?
I am all about supporting local artists, political, and queer groups in Palm Springs. Our shop supports many different social and political causes—ranging from Black Lives Matter to Gay Pride events. We get every kind of walk of life in here and I hug all my customers. Even if you’re an asshole, I give you love because that’s how the world heals. That’s how people change.
“I am all about supporting local artists, political, and queer groups in Palm Springs. Our shop supports many different social and political causes—ranging from Black Lives Matter to Gay Pride events.”
Your shop is known as a hub for queer and political events, especially during Pride. What kind of events does the shop host during Pride?
During pride I open my shop and back alley as a party and meeting space for queer women. You know, there’s a lot of places for gay men to go in Palm Springs, but not as many for queer women. We get queer women flowing in and out of the shop that have come all the way from LA to San Diego. All sorts of women. The Dykes on Bikes use the store as a base to store their helmets in. Musicians come down from festivals. I welcome strangers. It’s fun. It’s really just been growing organically over the past three years.
What about Palm Springs makes it such a great community for lesbians and members of the LGBT family to live in?
It’s hard here in Palm Springs. Don’t get me wrong—I love Palm Springs. I love the small, unique, village living. I love the people- but to be honest—the political community is really small here. I feel like it’s my duty to grow it through my outspoken, queer, political, gem shop! Since the election there’s been more awareness and the political community is changing because all the young people are starting to move down here and they are very active. We just have to keep things rolling towards progress.